Do I Really Need a CV?
Many employers expect a candidate to fill in an application form to apply for a job so is it worth having a CV? I would say it is, for a few reasons. Putting the time and effort into developing a CV (or Curriculum Vitae to give it’s full name) will help you think about what skills you have and what you are interested in. The process will help you to think through what you are offering an employer and also what you hope to gain through employment. There can be a perception of a power imbalance when applying for a job, and in some cases this is true – the candidate needs a job to pay the bills and fulfill responsibilities. However, I encourage my clients to remember that when looking for a career change it is important not to lose sight of your values otherwise when you start work, it won’t be the right job for you and you won’t be happy. Having a CV will help you fill in application forms as you may be able to copy and paste from your CV into an application form to save you time. After all, filling in application after application is very time consuming and any tool to help you do this more quickly will be valuable.
If using a CV to apply for a job, it’s worth taking some time and making sure your CV reflects the job you are applying for. If we have a long career history it is likely that we have so many skills and so much experience we can’t possibly put it all into a CV because it would make it as long as a telephone directory. Your CV should be ideally one side of A4, two as a maximum.
A CV is a tool designed to make an employer take notice and want to find out more about you. I once had a client who was upset at having to cut out lots of information that he saw as relevant. He complained to me that the employer had commented on the lack of information and he had to phone the client to find out more. I told him this was exactly what was intended. The tool was a CV that gave just enough information for the employer to be interested in finding out more, without falling asleep. The employer rang and asked to meet the client. That is exactly the result intended. Don’t be tempted to put too much information in there. Employers are busy, and if it’s too difficult to read they won’t read it, it will go in the bin. Harsh but probably true.
There is so much more to talk about when it comes to building a CV, it’s impossible to cover it all in one blog post. However, I would encourage you to get in touch with me if this is an area you would like some help with. I encourage clients to write their own CV as it will then be a better reflection of themselves to give to the potential employer, but it can be difficult to know where to start. A CV is there to SELL a product (you as a worker) to an employer and it can be difficult to identify our own strengths and skills. I am a professional and find it easy to see skills in other people and help them to identify their skills, yet I struggle if anyone asks me this question! I do have to think (although I have a CV there to help me if I need it!). Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know you will have skills and experience gained from your work or life experience, but looking for work and selling what’s on offer to employers is often a completely different skill set. If you haven’t applied for a job in a long time it can be hard.
If we can help, get in touch through our contact form.